For a lot of us, masturbating is like eating: It’s something we need to do to survive, and we’ve evolved beyond using our hands. (Or maybe it’s just that some of us are so lazy that we’ve come to rely on technological advances to do it.) So when I packed to go on an 8-day vacation last week, I surveyed my vibe collection to see which would be the most travel-friendly for a trip with a large group of people sharing bedrooms in an open, airy beach house. In the end, I decided against packing any of them, because I knew they were all too loud or large to not draw attention. But by day 6 of my trip I was going out of my mind, and I decided I needed to be a little more self-reliant in self-pleasuring. I began compiling a mental list of items found in a typical household that aren’t intended to help one masturbate (and that aren’t “personal massagers”), but still help out with the task, and then went about testing each one. My results, after the jump.

1.) Electric Toothbrush The first time I ever turned on my electric toothbrush I had an almost Pavlovian response to that familiar buzzing sound, and my vagina began to drool, but I’d never bothered to try it out... until the other day. I removed the bristle head, and placed the vibrating metal stem onto my outer lips (I was too scared to put it right on my clit, since it looked like it could be a little sharp). The problem with this is that without the head on the toothbrush, the stem is way too thin to really do anything substantial. Of course, some sex toy shops sell attachments designed specifically for such an occasion, but not all of us have the foresight to do something like that. Necessity is the mother of invention, so I grabbed some toilet paper and rapped it around the stem to form sufficient padding, and that did the trick. Sure it didn’t hold a candle to my Magic Wand, but it lit me up anyway.

2.) Cell Phone Okay, so I’ve actually tried using my phone on vibrate to get off many a (drunken) time before, but it was always an exercise in futility. However, for those of you who have an iPhone, you may have heard about iBrate, an application you can download that can actually turn your iPhone into a vibrator. It’s still sort of a lame substitute, since the vibe is a little to soft and steady for my liking (i can haz pulsing, pleeeze?), but at least it can get you to a certain level of excitement and then your hands and arms can come in and finish you off.

3.) Neutrogena Wave When I first saw the commercial for the Neutrogena Wave — a “power cleanser” for your face — I was like, “That’s a straight-up vibrator.” Unfortunately, I didn’t have one of these bad boys while on vacation, but I obtained one since, and have been testing it out today, and dude, it’s a straight-up vibrator. It’s just as good as any silver bullet vibe, but it’s quieter. Also, on the box, it says “penetrates deeper.” Heh heh.

4.) Bath Tub Faucet Everyone is always going on about detatchable shower heads, and they’re great and all, but they’re the sort of luxury item for people who frequent Brookstone or Restoration Hardware. I’m all about the bathtub faucet, because it has a powerful gush of water, and the crappier your apartment, the more unsteady (thus exciting!), the flow can be. I actually picked this up at a really young age because I heard it being talked about on Married With Children.

5.) Washing Machine It’s a little clichéd, but honestly, an unbalanced washing machine on the spin cycle is just about the best ride you can take on a hunk of metal that doesn’t have wheels. If you really want it to be fun, throw some sneakers in there, or place a large load of heavy towels or maybe some pillows in, but only on one side.